Brenternet (The World as seen by Brent Moore)

Trying to appeal to the highest common denominator. I can't give you 110% effort, but I will give you 107.4% effort. If you're a spammer and leave me a comment, I will make fun of you. I use twice as many semicolons compared to most other bloggers

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Location: Smyrna, Tennessee, United States

As the title implies, I am Brent K. Moore. I married MariLynn Simons on Sept. 25, 1999. we attend Stewart's Creek Church of Christ. We have five pets, a dachshund, Slinkie, a malamute, Juno, and three rabbits, Ebunny and Ifurry, and now Houdini.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Surviving Pigeon Forge

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I am an extremely introverted person.  However, every couple of years, or so, I store up all my willingnss-to-be-around-crowds-of-peopleness to visit Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, which one friend labeled the Sodom and Gomorrah of the south.  Gatlinburg is the Gateway to the Smokies.  That would make Pigeon Forge the Gateway to the Gateway to the Smokies.  In turn, Sevierville would be the Gateway to the Gateway to the Gateway to the Smokies.

Fun Fact: Johnny Cash's song A Boy Named Sue takes place in Gatlinburg.

So lets get started. The only way you can survive the area is to make yourself look forward to the Kitschy attractions, Hillbilly themed gift shops, a mixture of wonderful and terrible places to eat (sometimes you get both at the same eatery depending on when you go), an empty feeling in your wallet, and lots of people on the weekends.

I just got back from the area, and I survived. My purpose in life might be to document the area so as to serve as a warning to others. All of the pictures shown here are my pictures. Most were taken last week, but a small number were taken from my previous visit.

Dolly Parton Statue, Seveir County TN courthouse

In Honor of Dolly Parton's years of service encouraging millions of vacationers to come to the Sevier County tourist destinations of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg and spend all of their money, they erected this statue in her honor in front of the county courthouse.

If you have car trouble, you might as well use the services of the people who construct UT fans out of old car parts.

Interesting premise. lackluster use of sign name covering the storefront. I could only imagine being able to purchase Slim Jim by the 50 ft. spool, but luckily I had a friend stop here. He got 4 ounces of Kangaroo Jerky for $15. I bet it has a kick.

A visit to the area is not complete unless you stop by the long-time favorite Apple Barn. It took until my 7th visit to make it here. Now, my wife and I had eaten at their Farmwood Restaurant and we agree it's our favorite place in the area to eat. But we'd never been inside the store before.

If you've ever wanted to buy apples, or other food products with apples as the main ingredient, or apple art, or decorative items shaped like apples, then the Apple Barn environs is the place for you. Then, you go inside and see the 20 shelves of apple butter and run away screaming.

If you view this photo full size, you'll see that in addition to Apple butter, they also sell Apple Jelly, Apple Jam, Apple Spread, Apple Salsa, Sweet Potato Butter, Pumpkin Butter, Fig Preserves, Blackberry Jam, Plum Jam, Rhubarb Jam, Red Pepper Jelly, Damson Jam, Muscadine Jelly, Scuppernong Jelly and Honey.

When you make the journey to the third floor, disappointment sets in, as they only have baskets for sale up there.

They also make apple wine. And to hold those wine bottles, you can also purchase a wine bottle holder, which comes in various styles, such as the racially insensitive drunk Jew, or the Species-ally insensitive drunk Mallard or Drunk Giraffe.

Quick Quiz: How much does a life size stuffed Reindeer cost in an all Christmas store in Pigeon Forge? Answer given after the next photo.  With my zoom lens, I was able to take a picture of the price tag.

A full size plush Reindeer costs $400. Santa, shown here, is down with that.

As an aside, I can't take a church seriously if they're named "Gum Stand." That, or if they put this message on their sign.

I finally had an opportunity to visit Hillbilly Village. I kind of got the impression that they were the first gift shop here and every other store opened up around them since the 1960's. I even found a "new" post card that literally had to have been over 50 years old.

This place is so inviting.

And, hey, they have a free Moonshine exhibit out back. This is the kind of place my parents would shelter me from as a kid. Thankfully, I'm an adult now, and can visit whichever backwards tourist traps I choose to. Unfortunately, the display was closed on this day. If you really have to see it, look here at Jacob's pictures.

Fortunately, the bathroom was open. If you can't read the sign behind the trough, it says: PLEASE stand close. A Lot of People in Tenn. go Barefooted.

In case you mistakenly thought Sea World was in the mountains, there's a motel for you.

Ack! I'm scared! The prices of the T-shirts in there were outrageous!

This hotel looks insanely expensive. I bet I got a lower rate getting our cabin on the mountain.

Southern Hospitality: even the KEEP OFF signs are warm and inviting.

Bear Smooch is selling well.

Embrace your inner pig.

best sign in town!

What every home needs. A taxidermy display of a mountain lion catching a game bird. It's cheaper than a life-size plush reindeer.

The candy shop is a favorite place to visit. I'll admit that candy legos are cool.

Who wants some Jalapeño Taffy?

They have an endless supply of Mary Jane, which in my opinion is the worst candy ever. That's a topic for another blog post.

This is the Taffy Pulling Engineer. If I posted this picture and called him a meat-market butcher, you would have believed me.

Pigeon Forge is not a weapon free town. They have a Patriot missile at the new Patriot Park.

They also have a two-story tall liberty bell.

If you are my friend and you pay $20 for this "Hillbilly Cell Phone," I would have to ask what is wrong with you.

If you ever wondered if a waterfowl would be scared of a large concrete octopus, I know of this miniature golf course where you can find out.

hitting the ball into the water is a bad idea.

There used to be a mini-golf course in Pigeon Forge where the owners had about 200 live bunnies as the only obstacles on the course. The story of how it shut down was quite tragic.

I'm not sure, but something about this seems racist.

I have nothing against Shoney's, but if you visit Gatlinburg, why would you eat at Shoneys?


Our vacation to Gatlinburg was going well until this dinosaur smashed through the building and ate and killed us.

400 year old Mayan Artifact.

This is a 400 year old Mayan Artifact. if it's not Mayan, maybe it's a 400 year old Incan relic. If it's not Incan, then maybe it was by some kid in wood shop.

I suppose this is the billionaire shark. All he needs is a monocle.

After seeing the skateboarding shark, I no longer consider the Ripley people as classy.

Gatlinburg's Aquarium and Seafood buffet.

Does nobody at Ripley's management think an Aquarium with a seafood buffet is a bad idea? I have imagined this conversation at the Ripley's boardroom meeting:
Manager 1: How is the new Piranha exhibit coming along?
Manager 2: Fine, but we need to take down another exhibit to make room for them.
Manager 3: Our research shows that visitors don't look at the swordfish display anymore.
Manager 1: What shall we do with the swordfish then?
Manager 2: You know how last week we were looking for something to do in the banquet hall on Friday and Saturday nights?

Random autumn display in Gatlinburg. Fall Harvest with outhouse. If you've never taken an occasion to stop and ponder the nature of outhouses, pause for a moment and consider the purpose of the corn cobs at an outhouse.

Chocolate hair care kit, complete with mirror, brush, comb, hairdryer and rollers. This also costs less than a life-size plush reindeer, but the difference in cost isn't a big as you think it ought to be.

The best steaks come from bulls that eat fish in the wild.

Gatlinburg: The Alpaca Store!

There's a store in Gatlinburg where they take real Alpaca fur and turn it into...
1) Sweaters
2) Blankets
3) Pillows
4) Alpacas
The display model cost several hundred dollars, more than an actual alpaca, in fact.

5 stalks = wealth (maybe)

At this international importer, according to oriental tradition, these 5 stalks bring wealth to their owner. Apparently, it's not effective as they have been marked down to half price.

It's a bit off the main strip, but who wouldn't want to spend the night at the Wa-Floy Retreat?

The Illusion: You'll wonder where your money went!

At World of Illusion, nothing has changed since 1982, and that includes the poster that draws you in. If you've ever been there, then you know that the incredibly mystifying grand illusion is wondering where the rest of their exhibits are hiding after you walked through the first hallway in five minutes.

The Essence of Gatlinburg

I call this the Essence of Gatlinburg.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The taxidermy picture - that's a BOBCAT, not a mountain lion...HA HA HA HAHA HA.

I LOVE this blog. You are hilarious.

12:34 PM  
Blogger BrentKMoore said...

I almost called it a Lynx. I have trouble with the smaller wildcats.

4:38 PM  
Blogger trust said...

That "best sign in town" is a real threat...

5:35 PM  
Blogger Jacob said...

This is a near perfect write up of Pigeon truly captured its nature

10:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great. Now you have brought back my burning desire to go there. The Mister refuses. I've got to come up with a master plan to get there! Bribe? Tranquilizer dart?

You sure make it look GREAT. And don't keep us hanging, how much IS a chocolate hair care kit? Do they also have one with almonds?

8:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi - I am definitely glad to find this. Good job!

9:40 AM  

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